Must have apps on any new Linux distro install

My Must-have-Apps: insync for Gdrive and Onedrive, Cryptomator, Softmaker Office, ICE for any kind of WebApps (from Peppermint), SimpleNotes, Electron Mail, Guake Terminal, Resilio Sync, Spotify

not only must have apps but snaps and an updateme alias

sudo apt install snapd && sudo snap install core && sudo snap install telegram-desktop --edge && sudo snap install discord --edge && sudo snap install obs-studio --edge

sudo apt install -y gparted gnome-disk-utility gnome-terminal gimp gpick smplayer jackd htop qbittorrent numlockx pulseaudio pavucontrol audacity screenfetch libreoffice thunderbird build-essential lm-sensors psensor synaptic glances darktable neofetch inxi flameshot inkscape guvcview catfish blender

nano .bashrc

#alias to do a full update and clear up
alias updateme=‘sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade && sudo apt dist-upgrade && sudo apt autoremove && sudo apt clean && sudo apt autoclean && sudo snap refresh && sudo flatpak update’

Save file

then run

source ~/.bashrc

edit: and I forgot Steam and Lutris and Zoom
edit again : Thank you @CubicleNate > Virt-Manager / Qemu/KVM

Regards Zeb…

Be Kind Whenever Possible… It is Always Possible - Dalai Lama

Linux User #565092
x64 Desktop - AMD Threadripper 2950X - 64Gb RAM - NVIDIA RTX2080Ti 11Gb - 2 x 27" 4k 3840x2160 - 1 x 34" 4k (scaled) 5120x2160
x64 Laptop - i7-7700HQ @ 2.80GHz - 8Gb RAM - Nvidia GTX1050 4Gb - 15.6" HD 1920x1080


Here is what I actually install on my Pop System

Tinkery stuff

adb and fastboot - because I tinker with Lineage OS
btrfs-progs - To scrub that NAS disk that I havent scrubbed yet in a while.This should be in my Rockpro64 NAS but I havent have the time to return and rebuild it yet.
fish + guake + sl + cowsay + fortunes - Lovely fish! Its fun, friendly and colorful!
htop + nethogs - this answers the occasional question why is ____ slow?
putty - to talk to that BSD router that speaks even more weirder gibberish than linux
plank (or docky) - I annoy myself to sometimes have that MacOS look
transmission-gtk - I would have chosen qbittorrent but Ive settled on this because I am on GNOME

I would like to waste time, please

gnome-mahjongg - for when you like to waste time a bit
steam + whatever game - for when you like to waste time a lot
audacious and rhythmbox - I should probably run only one of these.

Got to help wife with computery stuff

ffmpeg - Got to convert that wmv to mp4 for wife’s presentation
wine-stable + winetricks - I need to run a windows-only program for wife, sometime for myself
simple-scan + nomacs - part of wife assistance workflow.
BItwarden - To manage passwords for the family, I previously used just KeePassXC and KeePassXD (for android)
audacity - For that instance where someone somewhere would request a dance mix for Christmas party
openshot - For that instance where someone somewhere would request a dance mix and a video for their party
GIMP - For that instance where someone somewhere would request a dance mix, a video, and a friggin tarpaulin for their party

I would like to think I am productivity

gnome-shell-pomodoro - I like to pretend I am productive. Havent used it again in a while
gnome-dictionary - I wish this was just a direct link to the Meriam Webster website sometimes. But its FOSS
calibre - for that massive ebook library
LibreOffice - everyone needs one of this or WPS or wine+MSOffice 2007

No sir, I am not paranoid

libimage-exiftool-perl - must be careful with metadata when sharing
evolution + protonmail bridge + etesync - Best privacy focused PIM combo ever!!!
firefox + Tor Browser - I have a love-hate relationship with Tor and I just love FF
Signal + Telegram - for that secure messaging that I cant convince other people to use


Most of my favorite Linux apps are listed here on my site

The first ones I install are Firefox, Bitwarden and Simplenote


pdftk - working with PDFs
gamemode - changing CPU governors
foliate - GTK3 ebook reader
kphotoalbum - local Google Photos alternative
VS Code - thanks, Microsoft :grin:
stubby - local DNS over HTTPS daemon
lxd - containerize anything!

and my favorite out-of-the-box and/or small cli tools:

Firefox! But usually it is already installed on the distros I use so it does not really count.

Otherwise it always looks like this:

  • Telegram

  • scrot

  • mpv

  • ffmpeg

  • youtube-dl

  • inxi

  • asunder

  • Audacity

  • imagemagick

  • lame

  • replaygain

  • Mixxx

  • pavucontrol

  • vim

  • htop

  • lm-sensors

  • unifont

  • Terminus fonts

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  • Atom
  • Virtualbox
  • KeepassXC
  • Signal Desktop
  • Calibre
  • git
  • tmux
  • grsync
  • shotwell
  • Tilix
  • OBS

The apps that I “MUST HAVE” on a system I am going to use, outside of Plasma as my Desktop because that is essentially a requirement are:

  • Kontact (KDE PIM)
  • Kate (Text Editor)
  • Audacity
  • Kdenlive
  • Telegram
  • Gnome-Recipes as this is something I use almost daily in the kitchen
  • SimpleNote
  • Bitwarden
  • Fusion 360 (thru Lutris)
  • Lutris (because the former won’t work well otherwise)
  • Virt-Manager / QEMU / KVM

There are several more but that would be the must-haves for day to day.


I actually have quite an extensive list here:

@zebedee.boss all those sudos in your alias are quite repetitive. Also you may have noticed that if one of those commands takes longer to run, it may ask for the sudo password again. You can try something like this alias updateme="sudo sh -c 'apt update && apt -y upgrade...'"

Also notice the -y flag to apt, that automatically answers yes to the want to continue prompt.

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I won’t do a full list but rather, if I do a new install, what I will get back on my computer that day if I don’t have much time to mess about.

First I’d get my dotfiles restored and kill all that default garbage in my home directory, then make sure the basics are there:

numix theme and icons
terminal is probably guaranteed but I’d have to disable all the window decorations and reduce font size.

Ultimately this will all become an ansible playbook.

@CubicleNate and I gave you a shout out on this week’s episode of DLN Xtend. Such a great list! Very clever titles.


A few favorites…

mate-desktop-environment-extras # Debian MATE doesn’t pre-install it
mumble # Because you’re missing out :stuck_out_tongue:
gnome-icon-theme # Because
mousepad # Linux’s answer to notepad.exe
deepin-screenshot # Any advice on something better that isn’t Flameshot?
libnotify-bin # For desktop notifications via notify-send
sshfs # Because who needs Filezilla?

Hi, thanks for the suggestion, it has not failed me yet.

Also my understanding of the && is that it will not attempt the second command until the first has finished.

I did not want to use ‘-y’ as I like to see what is happening.

Regards Zeb…

True, the Debian task that will be installed if you choose the Mate desktop is more minimal. But if you install Debian without any GUI, then I just do this after the install:

apt install mate-desktop-environment-extras

and get all the goodies.

The best part is that you do not get some of the stuff that would be installed with the tasksel package like Synaptic or Reportbug, I do not need them, OK maybe Reportbug on sid.


my understanding of the && is that it will not attempt the second command until the first has finished

That’s not 100% correct. There are 3 ways to concatenate commands:

  • cmd1; cmd2
    • will run cmd1, then cmd2 when the first is done, regardless of the result of the first one
  • cmd1 & cmd2
    • will run cmd1 and cmd2 at the same time (won’t wait for the first one to finish)
  • cmd1 && cmd2
    • will run cmd1, then if that returned 0 (which means it exited without errors) runs cmd2

Hope my explanation was clear!


Cool - good to know

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Does Lollypop work on other DEs than GNOME? It looks fantastic!
EDIT: Nevermind, there’s a FlatPak!

NordVPN, Brave, Catfish and Recoll (can’t decide), TeamViewer, smplayer, guake

Oops, how could I forget to mention the awesome zstd compression utility, after my recent phone bricking nightmare?